Revelation 12:33And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
A. there appeared another wonder in heaven; Another symbol appears.
B. behold a great red dragon......having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
The dragon has very specific descriptions:
- This greatness is the real power that the Jews had fighting against the church. Had Christ not been her protector, the church would surely have been utterly destroyed by the Jews who hated her.
- Fire represents judgment. In Rev. 12:10 the judgment of the Jews against the Christians is false but it is still fiery, that is prosecuted with great determination and destruction.
- For consistency, red in apocalyptic literature is always a symbol for war (bloodshed). The war the Jews waged against the Christians was a bloody one, full of death. The red symbol is in line with the fiery symbol above.
- Similar to the “dragon” beast of Daniel 7. Represents seven rulers of Judea, the Herods who had real power over their people.
- Ten toparchs (regions) of Judea. Horns can represent individual leaders (Daniel 7) or ruling positions (Daniel 8).
- The seven rulers were kings, royalty. Crowns don’t necessarily mean true authority (sea beast) but that they hold the position of royalty. Under the sea beast we see seven heads (actually guide the thoughts and actions of Rome, the beast) but ten crowns (adding three ineffectual kings/crowns to the seven heads we get ten kings. Three of these were ineffectual reflecting the three little horns of Daniel 7). [Historically this is Galba, Othos, and Vitellius.]
Revelation 12:44And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
A. The Dragon's Tailhis tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: These are the stars of the woman’s crown (the only ones in the immediate context. Essentially the dragon was able to kill 4 of the Apostles (Herod killed James – Acts 12:2), giving them over to the whims of the Jewish people – who the Herod’s wanted to please but didn’t not really associate with on a theological level. [Historically Peter, Matthew, and Philip were also all killed before Revelation was written.]
B. The Dragon Stands Read to Devour the Woman's Child
the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. This cannot be Christ because Herod was not aware of his birth till after the fact. This is the Jews who are aware of the church (Acts 2-5) and are ready to persecute it (Acts 7-9). They do so by killing a number of Christians led by Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1).
In Truth and Love.